To focus on floods now, Assam wants to close home-bound movements by June 30 | Guwahati News

GUWAHATI: Assam government wants to wrap up the process of receiving the home-bound people of the state from outside and of their subsequent quarantine by June 30 so that from July it can shift its entire focus on managing the floods, which has already affected over than 30,000 people and displaced nearly 9,000 of them to relief camps.
State health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Lingering with this process will make things difficult for us. We want to close this chapter (coming of people) by June 30 because from July we have to prepare for managing the floods.”
To hasten up, Sarma asked the people wanting to return home to reach the state in the next 15 days and gave green signals to airlines companies to fly in as many as possible, if they want to.
“From Assam’s point of view we want the people, whoever is planning to return, to come by June 10. Thereafter there are 14 days quarantine period and by June 30 we are able to close this entire exercise,” Sarma said.
“If the airlines carriers want to fly in more people to Assam, they can, provided they give us prior information. We do not want to impose any rationing now,” he added.
Sarma said that the frequency of flights are likely to increase to 32 in next four to five days after Kolkata airport starts operating. “There are also about 8000 people travelling by trains but have been stranded at different locations due to the Ampahn cyclone and they are expected to arrive soon,” Sarma said.
From May 5 inter-state movement was allowed by the ministry of home affairs and so far over 65,000 people have reached the state till Monday. Assam’s SOP for all incoming people either by train, air or road requires everyone to be compulsorily quarantined and tested for Covid-19. According to an estimate of the health department, another 10 lakh people might be planning to return.
The state is now facing a dual challenge of managing the post-return process of every individual right from screening, testing samples to quarantining to providing treatment to those who have tested positive for Covid-19 together with deteriorating flood situation.
The first wave of the annual flood, which struck the state on May 22 has affected over 30,000 people in five districts (Dibrugarh, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Darrang and Goalpara) and it is worsening. According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority, 8,941 people, including 2281 children of Goalpara district have been displaced and have taken shelter in 33 relief camps. Over 11,000 animals have also been affected and over 570 hectare of standing crop area has been destroyed so far.

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